Kris Kridel, one of Chicago radio's premier journalists and one of its most familiar voices, is retiring after 34 years as a news anchor at WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM.
Kridel's announcement came just two months after she cut back to part-time status and stepped down as afternoon drive anchor at the Entercom all-news station. Most recently she has been anchoring from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays, including the “Noon Business Hour,” which she has co-hosted since 2001.
"It’s time to move on," Kridel told me Tuesday. "It’s been an enormous gift working with my friends at WBBM. I’m proud of what we do and we’ll always be a team."
Ron Gleason, director of news and programming at WBBM Newsradio, said Kridel's last day on the air will be June 7.
"She’s been the consummate journalist, our go-to person for any discussion of ethics and how best to cover stories," Gleason wrote in a memo to the staff. "We will miss her dearly, but are excited she’ll be able to travel and enjoy much more time with her family and friends."
Kridel, a graduate of Ohio University who holds a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University, began in radio as a reporter for WCOL in Columbus, Ohio. She moved to Chicago with her husband, Paul Hogan, the late reporter for NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, and worked as news director and anchor/reporter at the former WFYR.
After a brief stop as morning news anchor for Tribune Radio Networks, Kridel joined WBBM Newsradio in 1985. She also was a longtime contributor to “Chicago Tonight” on public television WTTW-Channel 11, and was an adjunct faculty member of Loyola University School of Communications.
In 2014 she was named one of the most powerful women in Chicago journalism.
Here is the text of Gleason’s memo to staff:
Another of our all-time great broadcast journalists has decided it’s time to hang up her microphone and enjoy the good life.
Kris Kridel first joined WBBM in 1985. As she tells the story, at the old WFYR-FM she was part of a large news team that was about to downsize. When she asked the program director what was happening, he told her for news, everyone was turning to 780am so they were better off playing more music. Kris then told him if that was the case, she wanted to work at Newsradio.
While here, she’s covered just about every event imaginable, anchored both mid-day and afternoon drive, filled in mornings (as she’s doing this week), she’s a founding member of the WBBM Noon Business Hour and a staple on election nights.
She’s been the consummate journalist, our go-to person for any discussion of ethics and how best to cover stories. We will miss her dearly, but are excited she’ll be able to travel and enjoy much more time with her family and friends.
Kris’ last day on the air will be Friday, June 7th.
Let’s plan to celebrate Kris’ great career with a newsroom gathering that day.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Mike Braden: It seems a little unbecoming for a newsman such as Larry Potash to boast about ratings.